Artisanal Mining and Property Rights Quarterly Progress Report April – June 2022

The Artisanal Mining and Property Rights (AMPR) project supports the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to improve land and resource governance and strengthen property rights for all members of society, especially women. It serves as USAID’s vehicle for addressing complex land and resource issues around artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) in the Central African Republic (CAR) using a multidisciplinary approach. The project focuses primarily on diamond—and to a lesser extent, gold—production as well as providing targeted technical assistance to other USAID Missions and Operating Units (OUs) in addressing land and resource governance issues within the ASM sector. AMPR builds upon activities and lessons from the Property Rights and Artisanal Diamond Development (PRADD I and II) projects. The AMPR contract was signed on September 28, 2018, for an initial base period of three years with two option years, which were granted in June 2020. The present report summarizes progress during Quarter 3 of AMPR’s third year of project implementation.

ILAW Quarterly Report: January 1 – March 31, 2022

The goal of the Improving Land Access for Women (ILAW) Activity is to increase social cohesion, reduce land conflicts, and empower women to contribute to their communities economically by strengthening their legal access to land in the Northern and Western regions of Côte d’Ivoire (CDI). ILAW will achieve this goal through two performance objectives: Objective 1 – Empower communities in Northern and Western CDI through awareness raising, advocacy, and communication campaigns on land and women’s rights in Western and Northern CDI; and Objective 2 – Strengthen women’s access to legal and conflict mediation services in rural and urban areas to ensure their access to land in Northern and Western CDI.

The ILAW Activity runs from 2021 to 2024 as a Task Order under the Strengthening Tenure and Resource Rights (STARR) II Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract. The ILAW Activity is implemented in two zones of the country: the northern zone encompassing the regions of Poro, Béré, and Tchologo; and the western zone encompassing the regions of Cavally, Guémon, and Tonkpi. ILAW implements its activities in close partnership with local organizations Rural Organization in Korhogo (ARK), Humanitarian Assistance and Development Council (CAHD), Initiative for Dialogue and Research Action for Peace (INDIGO), and Association of Women Legal Practitioners in Côte d’Ivoire (AFJCI).

As approved by the USAID Contracting Officer’s Representative, the present Quarterly Progress Report covers the period from January 1 – March 31, 2022

Artisanal Mining and Property Rights Annual Progress Report for Gender Livelihoods: September 1, 2020 – August 31, 2021

Throughout Y3, the Artisanal Mining and Property Rights (AMPR) project, with the support of subcontractor Association des Femmes pour la Promotion de l’Entreprenariat (Association of Women for the Promotion of Entrepreneurship, AFPE) continued support to women in the mining sector. To guarantee a commitment to gender equity for the various stakeholders, the activities implemented were developed on the basis of AMPR’s Gender Action Plan (GAP) prepared in 2019. The GAP’s objective ensured that women and men have the opportunities to participate and benefit equally from AMPR’s activities. This activity is guided by a theory of change centered on the premise that the diamond economy creates the demand for agricultural commodities and processed foods primarily needed by the large labor force mining diamonds and gold. Women are the foundation of the agricultural and food processing economy. Technical assistance should thus be provided to women agricultural producers to enable them to better capture market opportunities generated by the local artisanal mining economy, one of the few export-oriented economies in the southwest of the Central African Republic (CAR).
This report covers the gender-related activities carried out under the DPAM project from October 2020 through August 2021.

Artisanal Mining and Property Rights Quarterly Progress Report January 1 – March 31, 2021

This quarterly performance report describes achievements realized under USAID’s AMPR project in CAR between January 1 and March 31, 2021. Following the January 13 attack on the outskirts of the CAR’s capital, Bangui, by the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC), an armed group opposed to the December 27, 2020 presidential and parliamentary elections, the implementation of program activities during this quarter was greatly reduced. On January 18, the Government of the Central African Republic (GoCAR) declared a 15-day state of emergency and curfew from 5 AM to 6 PM to aid in its crackdown on armed groups. Towards the end of January, the State of Emergency and curfew were extended to six months. Due to the precarious security situation in CAR’s interior, AMPR’s three field offices remained closed. The field-based staff has been assigned technical and administrative tasks to complete while in Bangui. The return to Bangui for the AMPR Chief of Party (COP) and the Finance and Administration Manager (FAM) was delayed until the end of January, when the security risk was deemed acceptable.

The AMPR Technical Deputy and COP held conference calls with the AMPR technical team in Bangui to review Year 3 Work Plan. The team identified field-based activities impacted by the insecurity in CAR’s interior. The timelines to implement these activities were shifted to Q3, subject to improved security and the ability of AMPR’s staff to safely return to the field. In the meantime, activities that can be implemented from Bangui were prioritized. Representatives from AMPR, EU Strengthening the governance of CAR’s artisanal diamond and gold mining sectors (GODICA), and the WB participated in a technical coordination call in January convened by the AMPR Project Manager. Following deliberations on the CAR electoral process and security situation, they agreed to suspend field activities in light of the fragile security situation in CAR’s interior until after the presidential inauguration on March 30. Throughout the quarter, AMPR’s home office project management team has been in constant communication with the project’s expatriate and local staff in CAR.

ILAW Quarterly Report: October 1 – December 31, 2021

The goal of the Improving Land Access for Women (ILAW) Activity is to increase social cohesion, reduce land conflicts, and empower women to contribute to their communities economically by strengthening their legal access to land in the Northern and Western regions of Côte d’Ivoire (CDI). ILAW will achieve this goal through two performance objectives: Objective 1 – Empower communities in Northern and Western CDI through awareness raising, advocacy, and communication campaigns on land and women’s rights in Western and Northern CDI; and Objective 2 – Strengthen women’s access to legal and conflict mediation services in rural and urban areas to ensure their access to land in Northern and Western CDI.

The ILAW Activity runs from 2021 to 2024 as a Task Order under the Strengthening Tenure and Resource Rights (STARR) II Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract. The ILAW Activity is implemented in two zones of the country: the northern zone encompassing the regions of Poro, Béré, and Tchologo; and the western zone encompassing the regions of Cavally, Guémon, and Tonkpi. ILAW implements its activities in close partnership with local organizations Rural Organization in Korhogo (ARK), Humanitarian Assistance and Development Council (CAHD), Initiative for Dialogue and Research Action for Peace (INDIGO), and Association of Women Legal Practitioners in Côte d’Ivoire (AFJCI).

As approved by the USAID Contracting Officer’s Representative, the present Quarterly Progress Report covers the period from award of the project in August through December 2021.

Artisanal Mining and Property Rights Quarterly Progress Report October 1 – December 31, 2020

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

This quarterly performance report describes achievements realized under USAID’s AMPR project in CAR between October 1 and December 31, 2020. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the implementation of project activities during this quarter was successfully adjusted to consider the measures of the AMPR COVID-19 Contingency and Response Plan in Bangui and three regional offices. This plan is updated regularly to ensure compliance with new directives from GoCAR and USAID. Discussions with USAID continue on how to respond to the COVID-19 situation given GoCAR’s stance that the pandemic is no longer a threat and life should get back to normal. The project engaged International SOS to prepare a due diligence report and COVID-19 protocols, which have been reviewed by USAID. The project also produced a fieldwork checklist, which aims to ensure that staff understand and comply with AMPR COVID-19 protocols while on field missions. AMPR is currently in the process of responding to USAID feedback, as well as integrating feedback from a local Central African public health expert.

The AMPR Chief of Party (COP) held regular consultative meetings with senior leadership of the Ministry of Mines and Geology (MMG), including meetings with the Minister, the Kimberley Process Permanent Secretariat (KPPS), and the Chargé de Mission to discuss AMPR activities in light of evolving COVID-19 guidelines. He also engaged with WHO and Red Cross CAR to discuss COVID-19 measures at the workplace. WHO provided several documents to sensitize the AMPR team, including information on the risks of COVID-19, the importance of wearing face masks, how to reduce COVID-19 stigmatization of health workers and families, and communicating with COVID-19 patients. AMPR has established direct contacts with WHO to obtain COVID-19 updates and documents pertinent to CAR. WHO also put AMPR in touch with the District Health Officers/doctors in AMPR operations zones to share developments from our regional offices.

The achievements of the AMPR team for the period are summarized below

Objective 1: Assist the Government of the CAR to Improve Compliance with KP Requirements to Promote Licit Economic Activities:

  • Provided technical support to the MMG to implement proposed interventions to strengthen diamond supply chain governance, including regulatory and institutional changes.
  • Cameroon’s Ministry of Mines, Industry, and Technological Development (MINMIDT) approved the CAR MMG request for a cross-border mission to present the results of the smuggling diagnostic on diamonds in CAR and identification of opportunities for cross-border coordination and experience sharing. The mission will take place in 2021, subject to the prevailing COVID-19 conditions.
  • The project provided technical and logistical support to the MMG in the training, induction, and installation of the KPPS, directors, and chefs de services for the new KP structure in CAR.
  • The project analyzed a technical review of the CAR Mining Code conducted by the African Development Bank and provided technical analysis and feedback to the World Bank consultant.
  • AMPR coordinated with the Support for the Professionalization of Mining Cooperatives (APCM) project to deploy its community mobilizers to Société Centrafricaine d’Exploitation Diamantifère (SCED)-Ndéléngué pilot Zone d’Exploitation Artisanale (ZEA) in Nola to start preparatory work with cooperatives. MMG and AMPR held consultations in the Carnot subprefecture on setting up similar pilot ZEAs.
  • AMPR video subcontractor, Elie Numerique Centrafrique, filmed and produced seven short videos and two documentaries. The documentaries focused on the Kimberley Process and peacebuilding committees (CLPR).
  • Printed and distributed 200 copies of a French-Sango lexicon of mining terms used by artisanal miners and stakeholders in the supply chain.
  • Produced and distributed 400 posters on the KP supply chain in CAR. The posters were used to sensitize over 1,200 artisanal miners in the KP compliant zones.
  • The project provided technical and logistical support to reconstitute the KP. Local Monitoring Committees (CLS) in Gadzi and Boganagone. The CLS have been reconstituted in all the eight KP compliant zones.
  • AMPR participated and co-chaired 16 bi-weekly virtual discussions on considerations and implications of COVID-19 on ASM in CAR.

Objective 2: Strengthen Community Resilience, Social Cohesion, and Responses to Violent Conflict in the Central African Republic:

  • The project held coordination meetings with the Ministry of Humanitarian Action and National Reconciliation (MHANR) to finalize strategies for the CLPR local coordination frameworks and Y3 work plan activities on social cohesion.
  • AMPR, in coordination with the technical team of the MHANR, developed a template for reporting CLPR activities and training the CLPRs on how to record conflict and activities in local registers.
  • The project developed a short educational video on the role of CLPRs and lessons learned in dealing with social tensions around land, property, housing, and pastoralism for institutional communication and training purposes.
  • AMPR regional offices conducted biweekly visits to each CLPR to monitor and collect data from the conflict and activity registers.
  • AMPR provided technical and logistical support for joint missions with MMG and the National Union of Mining Cooperatives of Central Africa (UNCMCA) Gender Focal Points to identify opportunities to strengthen women’s role in the mining sector.
  • AMPR subcontractor Association of Women for the Promotion of Entrepreneurship (AFPE) continued training 21 livelihoods groups on agricultural production, working effectively as associations, village savings and loans, basic literacy, and continued technical assistance in setting up demonstration sites.

Objective 3: Increase Awareness and Understanding of the Opportunities and Challenges of Establishing Responsible Gold Supply Chains in the CAR:

  • AMPR held several consultative meetings with the Bureau of Evaluation and Regulation of Diamonds and Gold (BECDOR) to discuss support for gold evaluation and exportation.

Objective 4: Improve USAID Programming through Increased Understanding of Linkages Between Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining and Key Development Issues:

  • AMPR presented on the diamond supply chain disruptions in CAR as part of the World Bank virtual forum “Rethinking ASM Formalization: How COVID-19’s disruption can be catalyzed for development”.
  • Completed CAR ASM country profile for the ASM DELVE database covering the country’s policies, regulations, production, and other information drawing from available resources.
  • The journal Resources Policy published a paper on the Société pour le Développement Minier de la Côte d’Ivoire (SODEMI) model of diamond co-management between the government and customary landowners in Côte d’Ivoire, co-authored by the Component 4 Coordinator based on research conducted under PRADD II. USAID AMPR covered the fees to make the article open access. It is available HERE.

 




 

Artisanal Mining and Property Rights Quarterly and Year 2 Annual Progress Report October 1, 2019 – September 30, 2020

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The AMPR team successfully implemented the second year of the project. AMPR supports the USAID Land and Urban Office and the USAID DRC Mission Central Africa Program in improving land and resource governance and strengthening property rights for all members of society, especially women. It serves as USAID’s vehicle for addressing complex land and resource issues around ASM in a multidisciplinary fashion with a focus on diamonds and, to a lesser extent, gold production in the CAR. The project also provides targeted technical assistance to other USAID missions and OUs in addressing land and resource governance issues within the ASM sector. The project builds upon activities and lessons from the PRADD I and II projects. The AMPR contract was signed on September 28, 2018 and will run for five years (the two option years were approved in 2020).

Some highlights from Year 2 include:

  • Year I Work Plan Advancements: The AMPR team carried out a vast majority of work plan activities successfully by the end of the year despite the widespread impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The project implementation process is now well-established thanks to strong teamwork between the project field and home offices and impressive support from government partners. Details of project implementation successes are described below. All component activities are being implemented on schedule, and “scope creep” has been minimal—a recurrent issue for project implementation during the initial phases of work plan implementation where new needs emerge, but at a time when contractual obligations need to be scrupulously respected.
  • New Hires: Despite the death of the Component I Coordinator, the departure of the Component II Livelihood Coordinator, and the resignation of some Community Mobilizers, the project recruited and trained new staff successfully. To ensure knowledge and information continuity, the new staff were granted access to the online backup of the project documents and resources of their predecessors.
  • Strengthened Relations with Host-Country Partners: Thanks to the concerted push by the project to involve all AMPR stakeholders in the preparation and monitoring of the annual work plan, collaboration throughout the year was excellent. Teamwork between government partners and the project led to innovative responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as the dissemination of posters and radio programs describing precautions to be taken at the local level and promotion of local soap-making by women’s groups and handwashing.
  • MMG-AMPR COVID-19 Innovations: AMPR actively participated in the CAR Ministry of Mines and Geology’s (MMG) COVID-19 Task Force meetings, enabling partners to prioritize activities reinforcing the Government of CAR’s (GoCAR) COVID-19 prevention measures in mining communities. AMPR set up a bi-weekly call with other donor-funded projects in the ASM domain to share information about how COVID-19 was impacting international and national market dynamics, internal production, security, and coordination among projects. This led to the support by the WB for the Delve platform to carry out field research on COVID-19 impacts. To mitigate the transmission of COVID-19, the project developed and printed 1,200 copies of MMG COVID-19 brochures and posters on coronavirus risks in the mining sector, which were distributed to key actors, notably, private sector, trading houses, civil society in Bangui and the KP compliant zones; supported the airing of community radio debates on the COVID-19 risks in mining communities, reaching more than 20,000 listeners; trained mining communities on techniques for making water filters using local materials; and soapmaking Training of Trainers course for 21 women’s groups in southwest CAR.

 



 

Integrated Land and Resource Governance (ILRG) Quarterly Report October- December 2019

Key Accomplishments and Challenges

During the first quarter of fiscal year (FY) 2020, ILRG clarified obligations through July 2021, which allowed for broad planning of the majority of funds across ILRG countries. This exercise has been particularly important as ILRG works between the term and completion portions of the contract within a total budget ceiling for the contract’s base period.

W-GDP: ILRG obligations for W-GDP were confirmed in October, which led to the rapid development of a work plan across five countries. Activities were defined for Mozambique, Zambia, and India, while ILRG launched a dialogue on W-GDP in Ghana with private sector partners Hershey and Ecom Agroindustrial Corp. (ECOM) and performed an assessment of gender integration in implementation of Malawi’s 2016 Land Act. Completing work plans and launching activities in each of these countries is a major priority for the coming quarter.

Mozambique: ILRG completed field implementation grants on community land regularization and land readjustment with the Associação Rural de Ajuda Mutua (ORAM) in five communities in the province of Zambézia, and the Hluvukani Cooperative’s work in areas near Illovo’s sugar factory outside of Manhiça in Maputo Province. ILRG documented land conflicts in the Illovo area and shared the results with the relevant district and municipal authorities responsible for resolution/mediation. Within the area supported by ORAM, district authorities took on the responsibility for leading the land readjustment process using the maps and data produced with ILRG support. These products will continue to be used as the community considers internal readjustment, as Portucel has provided a consultant leading the design of the irrigation approach.

Mozambique challenges: Elections in October 2019 slowed fieldwork and opportunities to carry out field assessments for a short-while. This quarter was used to negotiate plans for FY 2020 and FY 2021 with respect to W-GDP, as well as emergency/disaster relief programming. Building trust with senior management of private sector partners and understanding their relative commitments and constraints slowed progress, but also created a strong basis for moving forward over the next eighteen months.

Zambia: Policy engagements continued with the National Land Policy, as ILRG supported the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources (MLNR) to engage with stakeholders for an early 2020 pre-validation and (hopefully) subsequent validation meeting. The House of Chiefs worked closely with ILRG in the development of a traditional leadership and governance course, expected to be rolled out in 2020, through participation in the African Land Policy Conference, and in strategizing on W-GDP support for a House of Chiefs Policy on Gender and Women’s Empowerment. ILRG worked with the Zambia National Community Resource Board Association (ZNCRBA) to carry out the National Community-Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) Conference with almost three hundred participants from across government, community-based organizations, conservation organizations, and traditional leaders, as communities seek access to benefits legislated under wildlife legislation. With respect to field implementation, both the Chipata and Petauke District Land Alliances have established strong relationships with district planners on integrated development planning for new districts, including piloting a complete village census across five chiefdoms in Petauke District. Basemaps have been prepared and finalized for the parcel demarcation and claims process, which are expected to be largely completed over the next quarter for two large chiefdoms. Natural resource management partners continued with community governance activities and processes for registration of forest areas. Partners are working on mapping boundaries and examining opportunities for community wildlife economy activities.

Zambia challenges: ILRG has yet to gain policy traction with the Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW), and with the addition of W-GDP funds risks stretching itself too thin across land, natural resource management, agriculture, gender, and district planning. ILRG is at a stage of identifying whether its partners are likely to be self-sustaining post-grant activities. Nevertheless, there is substantial progress and doors are opening to engage with customary leaders on governance and with the MLNR.

Ghana: ILRG continued deepening experiences in Asankrangwa, alleviating concerns and rumors from some community leaders, and embarking on a land use planning process, through the ECO Game, informed by a land use planning diagnostic. ILRG’s partner Meridia carried out community boundary mapping and parcel mapping in three villages during the quarter, testing a range of mapping models. The cost recovery model for selling FarmSeal documents to farmers performed much weaker than hoped. ILRG’s partner ECOM continued with its farm rehabilitation services across almost 100 acres of cocoa farms and food crops, with an unfortunate loss of significant maize crop due to army worms. ILRG has engaged effectively on the policy dialogue around tree tenure policy reform, integrating itself into the Legal Working Group on tree tenure. Toward the end of the quarter, ILRG’s participation in W-GDP became a focus of rapid planning, and ILRG launched a dialogue with Hershey and ECOM to program funds associated with W-GDP without compromising the original objectives of the partnership.

Ghana challenges: The program continues to grow organically, testing a range of hypotheses, but lacks a full-time team in country. Given the diversity of activities, a full-time team may not be advised, as a broad range of skills are required. As noted above, interesting results continue to emerge that highlight the challenges of making a cost-recovery model for land documentation work, as well as private sector supported cocoa farm rehabilitation.

India: ILRG India is providing support to members of 49 selected women’s groups across 12 pilot communities, including PepsiCo potato farming families. Within these 49 groups, two women’s land leasing groups are cultivating PepsiCo potatoes as part of an innovative pilot to facilitate access to land for women in West Bengal. The project developed participatory, gender-sensitive training modules for a package of PepsiCo-recommended technical practices for potato cultivation. The entire training program is being delivered in six phases. As of the end of the quarter, two modules had been designed, translated into Bengali, and delivered in all 12 pilot communities. In this quarter, ILRG provided another round of the gender sensitization/women in agriculture training to PepsiCo field agronomists, this time with female agronomists in Maharashtra, at PepsiCo’s request. ILRG also began preparations for a training module and toolkit on gender-based violence, which is being prepared in both English and Bengali.

India challenges: Common challenges of low literacy and education level, as well as limited time to attend trainings, affect the full participation of women in the program. Similarly, fewer than expected PepsiCo farmers are within the women’s groups. ILRG is adapting the program by ensuring that additional outreach is done specifically for PepsiCo farmers’ wives.

Additional activities: ILRG is carrying out a range of additional activities that are either fairly small or under development. The team is piloting and adapting a capacity assessment framework, and it is supporting global learning around Mobile Approaches to Secure Tenure (MAST). It is also engaging with USAID on sector guidance for USAID’s Indigenous Peoples’ Policy, and it is supporting a grant to New America to finalize E3/LU’s learning agenda. ILRG is also in the process of awarding two grants to carry out community land protection activities in Liberia. The team is developing a relatively small completion activity to support a property rights indicator sub-national deep dive. During this quarter, ILRG also finalized a land tenure assessment for USAID/Indonesia, and it began considering a potential completion activity in Madagascar.

 




 

Integrated Land and Resource Governance (ILRG) Quarterly Report January- March 2020

Introduction and Background

The Integrated Land and Resource Governance (ILRG) task order under the Strengthening Tenure and Resource Rights II (STARR II) Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract provides support to the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Land and Urban Office in the Bureau for Economic Growth, Education, and Environment (E3/LU). ILRG develops and implements targeted interventions in select USAID countries, providing technical assistance to improve land and resource governance, strengthen property rights, and build resilient livelihoods as the foundation for stability, resilience, and strong economic growth. The task order has four primary objectives:

  • To increase inclusive economic growth, resilience, and food security;
  • To provide a foundation for sustainable natural resource management and biodiversity conservation;
  • To promote good governance, conflict mitigation, and disaster mitigation and relief; and,
  • To empower women and other vulnerable populations.

To achieve this, the task order works through four inter-related components with diverse stakeholders:

  • Component 1: Support the development of inclusive land and property rights laws and policies;
  • Component 2: Assist law and policy implementation, including clarifying, documenting, registering, and administering rights to land and resources;
  • Component 3: Support the capacity of local institutions to administer and secure equitable land and resource governance; and
  • Component 4: Facilitate responsible land-based investment that creates optimized outcomes for communities, investors, and the public.

The ILRG contract has two mechanisms for providing support on land and natural resource governance: 1) term activities; and 2) completion activities. Under the term portion of the contract, the project implements technical assistance in Mozambique and Zambia. Work in Mozambique focuses on clarifying, documenting, registering, and administering rights to land and resources through collaboration on responsible land-based investment, while work in Zambia includes support to land policy, customary land administration and service delivery, as well as natural resource governance and tenure around protected areas. Under the completion portion of the contract, USAID missions, bureaus, and offices can support additional field scopes of work in locations to be determined. Activities pursued under this portion of the contract include: 1) support around USAID’s draft Policy on Promoting the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; 2) support to deforestation-free cocoa in Ghana through the creation of a sustainably-financed farm rehabilitation and land tenure strengthening model; 3) collaboration with PepsiCo on gender and women’s empowerment within the potato value chain in West Bengal, India; 4) support for completion of Customary Land Protection Program activities in approximately 35 communities in Liberia; 5) a land tenure and property rights assessment in Indonesia; and 6) activities related to the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative (W-GDP).

ILRG was awarded on July 27, 2018 and the task order has a three-year base period (through July 2021) and two one-year option periods.